Business Administration

The 12 Best MBA in Energy Programs—And What Sets Each Business School Apart

The 12 Best MBA in Energy Programs—And What Sets Each Business School Apart
There are MBA programs that focus on the energy industry as a whole, while others focus on energy management, renewable energy, or clean technology. Image from Unsplash
Christa Terry profile
Christa Terry September 23, 2019

Evaluate energy MBA programs in terms of focus—like whether you’re more interested in working in the fossil fuel industry or in renewable energy.

MBA Programs You Should Consider

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The world runs on energy. That energy can come from coal, gas, wind, sun, or biomass; whatever the source, generating, collecting, and distributing energy is a complex process. It takes a lot of people to meet the global demand for energy, which is expected to increase by 35 percent by 2035. That includes not just engineers and technicians, but also business people and managers. In the years to come, the increased demand for energy should mean an increased demand for executives with a deep understanding of the energy business and solid management skills.

That may be why more universities are creating energy-focused bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and energy MBA programs. The energy tracks and specializations at business schools take many forms.

There are programs that focus on the energy industry as a whole, while others focus on energy management, renewable energy, or clean technology. Some energy MBA programs include core and elective courses delivered through the university’s science and engineering schools, tipping the curricular balance toward math and engineering. It’s important to remember, however, that an MBA is a business degree, and so no matter how deeply a program dives into energy delivery as a science, there will still be coursework in:

  • Finance
  • Management
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Marketing

Some students choose dual MBA/MS degrees that provide opportunities to study both the business of energy and the science of energy.

Many energy MBA programs can be completed in two years of full-time study. If you need flexibility or you want to earn your master’s degree more quickly, there are also flexible online MBA and part-time programs that take two to three years to complete, along with some accelerated programs that take less than a year to complete.


What are the best MBA programs for energy?

That will depend on your needs and your interests. The most important things to look for in any MBA program are:

  • Post-graduation career support
  • A large and active alumni network
  • Good job placement rates

You should also evaluate energy MBA programs in terms of focus. Consider whether you’re more interested in working in the fossil fuel industry or in renewable energy, and whether you’d prefer a program that allows you to customize your coursework to one with a lockstep curriculum.

For each of the degree programs below, we’ve included the most relevant information to consider when you’re choosing the best energy MBA program for your needs:

  • Degree type
  • Tuition
  • Graduation requirements
  • Core courses
  • Concentration courses
  • Features

Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business

  • Degree: MBA with an Energy Business track
  • Format: Full-time or part-time, on campus
  • Tuition: $68,000 per year for full-time students; $17,000 per semester for part-time students
  • Graduation requirements: 21 months for full-time students, 32 months for part-time students
  • Core courses: Probability and Statistics; Financial and Managerial Accounting; Corporate Strategy; Managerial Economics; Optimization; Marketing Management; Operations Management; Statistical Decision Making; Interpersonal Managerial Communication; Finance; Managing Networks and Organizations; Global Economics; Ethics and Leadership; Study Abroad Prep
  • Concentration courses: Energy Finance; Energy Business; Energy Policy and Economics; Energy Transport and Storage; Emerging Energy Policies; Catastrophic Risk Analysis; New Technology Commercialization; Government & Business; Options; Business Analytics and Forecasting; Sustainable Operations; Entrepreneurship for High Growth Companies; Entrepreneurial Alternatives; Commercialization and Innovation Strategy
  • Features: Students can take courses from Carnegie Mellon’s renowned Engineering College; access to a deep network of industry associates; experiential learning opportunities; cultural trips are part of the curriculum; networking is part of the curriculum; access to the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center; capstone projects involve working with a firm from the energy industry

Duke University Fuqua School of Business

  • Degree: MBA concentrations in Energy and Environment and Energy Finance
  • Format: Daytime MBA; Accelerated Daytime MBA; Global Executive MBA
  • Tuition: $70,000 (daytime); $86,835 (accelerated); $149,500 (executive)
  • Graduation requirements: 79 credits over 22 months (daytime), 10 months (accelerated), 18 months (executive)
  • Core courses: Different programs have different core curricula. Executive: Financial Accounting; Managerial Effectiveness; Managerial Economics; Statistical Models; Global Finance Management; Foundations of Strategy; Decision Models; Market Management; Managerial Accounting; Operations Management. Accelerated Daytime: Entrepreneurial Action and Mindset; Technology Driven Transformation of Business; Leadership, Ethics, and Organizations; Management Communication; Business and Common Purpose in a World of Difference
  • Concentration courses: Energy and Environment: Energy, Markets, & Innovation; Resource & Environmental Economics; Transportation and Energy; Energy Economics and Policy; Energy Technology and Impact on the Environment; Renewables and the World’s Poor; Hydrocarbons: Houston Field Trip; Modeling for Energy Systems; Environmental Life Cycle Analysis and Decision Making; Climate Change Economics and Policy; Markets for Electric Power; Approaches to a Low Carbon Economy; Environmental Law; Energy Law; Climate Change and the Law; Economic Development and Environmental Conservation. Energy Finance: Corporate Finance; Investment; Derivatives; Advanced Corporate Finance; International Finance; Decision Models
  • Features: Duke hosts events like the Duke University Energy Conference, Energy in Emerging Markets Case Competition, and Energy Week; graduates work at firms like ExxonMobil, Pacific Gas & Electric, Tesla, Scott Madden, and Accenture Strategy Energy; a Career Management Center; option to choose more than one concentration; five to seven real-world energy-related consulting projects annually facilitated by the Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum; fast-paced curriculum organized in six-week modules.

Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business

  • Degree: MBA with a concentration in Energy
  • Format: Full-time, on campus
  • Tuition: $59,750 annually
  • Graduation requirements: 60 credits completed over 22 months
  • Core courses: Financial Accounting; Managerial Accounting; Organizational Behavior; Leading Change; Managerial Economics; Finance; Corporate Social Responsibility; Competitive and Industry Analysis; Strategy Formulation and Implementation; Operations Management; Marketing; Strategic Business Communication; Data Analysis; Leadership; Negotiation; Global Field Experience
  • Custom core: (choose 2) Managerial Control; Economic Environment of Business; Business-Government Relations; Action Learning Project; New Enterprise; Business Law
  • Concentration courses: International Energy Simulation; Managing Energy Transitions; Geopolitics of Energy; Energy Derivatives; Innovation in Energy Tech; International Energy Development; Operations Lab: Energy; Managing in a Carbon Constrained World; Fundamentals of the Energy Industry; Competition, Carbon, and Electricity Policy; Entrepreneurship in the Energy Industry; Business Strategy in the Energy Industry; Pricing Strategies for the Oil & Gas Industry; Marketing in the Energy Industry; Project Management in Energy
  • Features: Rice University hosts the annual Rice Energy Finance Summit; students can take advantage of offerings from the Center for Energy Studies; Chevron, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Shell are top employers of graduates; opportunity to earn a dual degree with a master’s in energy economics; #1 full-time MBA program in the US according to Businessweek

Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business

  • Degree: MBA in Finance with Energy Specialization
  • Format: Full-time, on campus
  • Tuition: $46,975 per year
  • Graduation requirements: 67 credits over two years
  • Core courses: Financial Accounting; Managerial Economics; Managerial Finance; Data Analytics; Marketing Management; Managing Your Career; Managerial Accounting; Management Decision Analysis; Business Presentation Techniques; Operations Management; Organizational Behavior; Macroeconomics; Financial Markets and Monetary Policy; Global Leadership; Strategic Management
  • Concentration courses: Valuation and Analysis; Finance Theory and Practice; Global Mergers and Acquisitions; International Finance Markets; Portfolio Theory and Asset Pricing; Derivatives; Energy Project Valuation and Finance; Oil and Gas
  • Electives: Corporate Finance Policies; Fixed Income Securities; Financial Markets and Monetary Policy; Quantitative Trading Strategies; Financial Modeling; Asset and Wealth Management
  • Features: Finance MBA students can pursue a CFA designation while completing first-year coursework; study abroad opportunities; specializations are highly customizable; experiential learning opportunities focused on energy investment

Texas Christian University Neeley School of Business

  • Degree: Energy MBA
  • Format: Evening-only, on campus, or live synchronous online learning
  • Tuition: Evening program and online program: $35,910 per year; accelerated program ($71,820 complete program), $30,780 per year ($61,560 complete program)
  • Graduation requirements: Evening: 42 credit hours. Accelerated: 36 credit hours.
  • Core courses: Financial Reporting; Accounting for Managerial Planning and Control; Competitive Advantage through People; Global Environment of Business; Business Simulation; Managerial Economics; Data Analysis for Managerial Decisions; Managing Operations and Processes; Managing Information Technology; Business Analytics; Concepts in Supply Chain Management; Legal Environment of Business; Marketing Management; Business Ethics
  • Concentration courses: Energy in the 21st Century; Energy Legal and Regulatory Issues; Energy Macroeconomics; Energy Accounting; Energy Corporate Finance; Energy CEO Forum; Global Experiences — Energy; Energy Integrated Field Study From Prospect to Production; plus capstone energy courses
  • Features: Access to senior execs at global energy companies; on-site coursework; a powerful alumni network; choice of flexible on-campus or live virtual study options

Tulane University of Louisiana Freeman School of Business

  • Degree: MBA with a concentration in Energy
  • Format: Full-time and fast-track
  • Tuition: $51,088 per year
  • Graduation requirements: 61 credits over two years, four semesters
  • Core courses: Accounting Measurement, Reporting, and Control; Analysis for Financial Management; Business Communications; Strategic Management; Business Statistics and Models; Career Development; Econ Environment of Business; European Union — Global Leadership; Operations and Supply Chain Management; Marketing
  • Concentration courses: Introduction to Energy and Finance; Energy Markets, Institutions, and Policy; Energy Modeling; Energy Data Analysis; Energy and Environmental Economics; Energy Fundamentals and Trading; Energy Accounting and Valuation; Advanced Energy Trading and Finance; Energy Risk Management; Energy Trading: Wholesale Electric Markets; Energy Investment Banking; Energy Projects II; Energy Regulation; Energy Seminar: Sustainability and Renewable Power in the Electric Power Market; Independent study.
  • Features: Access to the Tulane Energy Institute; trading floor simulator; students can specialize in two areas (other options: analytics; entrepreneurial hospitality; entrepreneurship; finance; real estate; strategic management and innovation)

The University of California – Berkeley Haas School of Business

  • Degree: MBA with a concentration in Energy & Clean Technology
  • Format: Full-time, on campus
  • Tuition: $62,446 in-state; $64,652 non-resident per year
  • Graduation requirements: 51 units of coursework completed over 21 months
  • Core courses: Data & Decisions; Leading People; Leadership Communication; Economics for Business Decision Making; Financial Accounting; Introduction to Finance; Marketing; Ethics and Responsibility in Business; Macroeconomics and the Global Economy; Operations; Fundamentals of Design Thinking; Strategic Leadership
  • Concentration courses: Energy and Environmental Markets; Legal and Regulatory Frameworks for Energy and Infrastructure Project Finance; Modeling for Energy and Infrastructure Project Finance; Strategic and Sustainable Business Solutions; Design and Evaluation of Development Technology; Ethics and Decision Making in Green Product Design; the interdisciplinary “Cleantech to Market” course
  • Features: Students attend events and activities through the Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative and the Energy Institute at Haas; the Renewable Energy Speaker Series brings major industry innovators to campus for presentations and networking; graduates are hired by companies like SunPower, Bloom Energy, and SolarCity; the BERC Energy Summit; consulting projects through the International Business Development program

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

  • Degree: MBA with an Energy concentration
  • Format: Full-time, on campus
  • Tuition: $42,842 in-state, $58,848 non-resident per year
  • Graduation requirements: 62 credit hours over 21 months
  • Core courses: Leading and Managing; Financial Accounting; Financial Tools; Marketing: Core Concepts and Tools; Business Statistics and Analytics; Microeconomics; Business Strategy; Finance; Operations; Data Analytics and Decision Making; Global Economics; Ethics; Corporate and Individual Responsibility; Management Communication: Presentation Skills; Managerial Accounting; Leading & Managing II: Leading Strategic Change
  • Concentration courses: The Business of Renewable Energy; The Business of Electric Power; The Business of Oil and Gas: Exploration and Production; The Business of Refining and Petrochemicals; Decision Making in the Energy Industry; Energy Taxation and Policy; The Energy Value Chain; Industrial Finance; The Midstream Business of Oil and Gas; The Commercialization and Financing of Renewable Energy; Strategy of Project Finance; Strategy and Value Creation for Energy Companies
  • Features: Access to the UNC Kenan-Flagler Energy Center; a student energy club; career-focused events and conferences, research assistantships, and internship assistance; MBA energy case competitions; the UNC Kenan-Flagler Center for Sustainable Enterprise co hosts a clean tech summit; five annual career treks; Tar Heel basketball

The University of Oklahoma – Norman Price College of Business

  • Degree: Executive MBA in Energy
  • Format: Primarily online, 15 months with three week-long residencies
  • Tuition and fees: $77,400 (all-inclusive figure includes course materials and technology expenses)
  • Graduation requirements: 22 courses; 14 online, 8 taught during immersions
  • Core courses/concentration courses: Global Perspectives in Energy; Energy Policy & Regulations; Economics of Energy; Value Chain and Technology & Innovation; Supply Chain; Accounting; Organizational Behavior; Financial Markets; Legal Institutions & Ethics; Corporate Finance & Risk Management; Enterprise Valuations; Derivatives & Energy Trading; Energy Law
  • Electives: None
  • Features: International immersion weeks in Amsterdam and London; third immersion week in Norman; a leadership development segment; global focus to curriculum; full-time MBA program offers a 13-hour energy certificate (primarily covering energy finance)

University of Pennsylvania Wharton School

  • Degree: MBA with a Business, Energy, Environment, and Sustainability major
  • Format: Full-time, on campus
  • Tuition: $81,378 for first year
  • Graduation requirements: 19 credit units completed in 20 months (including a summer internship)
  • Core courses: Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership; Marketing Management; Microeconomic Foundation; Advanced Topics in Managerial Economics; Regression Analysis for Managers; Speaking and Writing
  • Flexible core courses: Students must take one course in accounting, corporate finance, legal studies and business ethics, macroeconomics, management, marketing, and operations; in each discipline, they may choose from a limited selection of course options. In operations, for example, students must take one of the following: Quality and Productivity; Business Analytics; Information Technology and Business Transformation; Innovation; Operations Strategy
  • Concentration courses: Energy Markets and Policy; Energy Finance; Environmental Management; Law and Policy; Marketing for Social Impact; Energy Law; Energy Engineering; Climate Policy and Technology; Electricity Systems and Markets; Corporate Sustainability Strategies; Corporate Diplomacy
  • Features: Ranked the nation’s best MBA program by US News & World Report, and tied for first (with Harvard University) by Poets & Quants; world-renowned faculty; 20 research centers and initiatives; alumni network of over 99,000

University of Tulsa Collins College of Business

  • Degree: Master of Energy Business
  • Format: Online
  • Tuition and fees: $1,272 per credit hour/$43,250 for full program
  • Graduation requirements: 34 credit hours/10 courses
  • Core courses: Perspectives in Energy Business; Leading and Managing Energy Organizations; Analytical Tools for Energy Business Management; Energy Accounting and Financial Reporting; Financial Management in the Energy Enterprise; Legal and Regulatory Environment of the Energy Industry; Energy Policy and Sustainability; Management of the Energy Supply Chain; The Business of Renewable Energy and Alternative Fuels; Energy Economies
  • Electives: Energy Markets and Commodities Trading; US Oil and Gas Law; Energy Transactions in the International Arena; Economic Evaluation of Energy Assets; Energy Outlook 2030; Global Energy Decisions; International Energy Markets; The Electric Utility Industry and Demand Side Management; Current Topics in Upstream-Midstream-Downstream Energy Operations; Critical Issues for the Energy Industry; Energy Logistics and Transportation Management; The Refining and Petrochemicals Business; Comparative Management Strategy in Energy Corporations; Energy Risk Modeling; Directed Research in Energy Business; Seminar in Energy Business
  • Focus areas: Energy law and regulation; energy economics/finance; corporate strategy and commercial operations management
  • Features: More energy-focused than a traditional MBA; no thesis; three entry points; partnerships facilitate coursework with international institutions; affiliation with the Tulsa Institute of Alternative Energy

(Last Updated on February 26, 2024)

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MBA Programs You Should Consider